With all the advice given out there on how to lose body fat it would seem an easy task to do, but if you are still confused on what to do then this article is for you. Here you will find 7 simple steps to help reduce body fat whilst remaining healthy, happy and with zero deprivation!
The term ‘weight loss’ is often thrown around when trying to change the body, but this phrase can be misleading as often it doesn’t relate to the actual results people want for their body. As a personal trainer, I prefer to use the term ‘fat loss’ as this generally relates to the goals people want for their body.
Most women want to see a change of shape in the body and feel confident in their body. Whether that means getting lean, fit, toned, slim, slender, healthy, whatever the term used to feel good in the body. When focusing on weight loss you could lose weight but still not have the body shape you have in mind. Losing weight doesn’t necessarily mean you’re losing fat because you could be losing a mixture of water and muscle. This approach can lead to losing strength, energy, functionality, muscle tone and overall wellbeing of mind and body.
With a focus on losing body fat, you will keep a much healthier approach, whilst building strong muscles, having energy and keeping hormones happy. It is important to remember that women do need body fat as we need to keep hormones functioning optimally, such as having regular monthly periods. Excess body fat can have negative effects on health such as causing diabetes and fertility issues, whereas too low body fat can cause fatigue, irritability, and again affect fertility.
What is the sweet spot for body fat? Key signs to pay attention to are having energy, a regular monthly cycle, a healthy libido, good sleep, a positive mood, a desire to exercise, and a general overall feeling of being healthy and happy. Depending on lifestyle, background and genetics, a healthy body fat percentage can be anywhere between 15% and 30%.
How to reduce body fat the healthy way
The secret sweet spot is to lose body fat without depriving the body, losing muscle or affecting overall wellbeing. Check out the 7 simple steps below for a healthy approach.
- HIIT workouts
Short bursts of intense exercises are an incredible tool for losing body fat, especially as they build muscle and increase metabolism. The extra bonus is HIIT workouts are short in duration so are perfect to fit around a busy schedule.
- Lift weights
Building muscle is an essential component to losing body fat. The better the metabolism and muscle strength, the better the body can work efficiently. Use dumbbells, barbells, kettlebells, resistance bands and resistance machines. If you don’t have access to equipment, do bodyweight exercises such as squats and push ups to target your own muscular strength.
Cardiovascular exercise is a must for losing body fat, however do not feel that you have to run on a treadmill or outdoors. Cardio can be anything from walking, swimming, dancing, cycling, running, rowing, climbing, HIIT or lifting weights faster. The body thrives off cardio, just pick an activity you love to do as that will be easier for consistency.
- Eat enough
This might seem counterintuitive, but it is important to eat enough food to satisfy the body. Do not starve and deprive the body, and at the same time stuff it with food. It’s all about balance, and ensuring you are eating enough calories and nutrients to satiate the body every day. Avoid cravings and binges by mindfully eating.
- Eat protein
Ensure you are eating enough protein every day. Add protein to every main meal every day. For example: chickpeas, beans, hemp seeds, quinoa and a good quality plant-based protein powder. Eating enough protein helps the muscles to repair and grow, and keep the body satiated.
- Eat wholefoods
Eat wholesome whole foods every day. Focusing on nutritious foods for all meals ensures the body is getting plenty of vitamins, minerals and fibre which will help with energy, satiety and overall health. This will help to support a healthy body composition.
- Stop weighing yourself
Step away from the scales! Don’t rely on the number on the bathroom scale to indicate your success, this will eat away at your mind and lower your self-confidence. Focus on how you feel in your clothes and naked, measure your waist and hips with a tape measure, and most of all focus on how you feel in mind and body. Keep track of this type of progress and you’ll know if you’re moving in the right direction.
The most important part of losing body fat and feeling healthy along the journey is to be consistent. Little changes every day will create long term results and success. Start to prioritise your overall wellbeing and you will notice positive changes in your body!